Faizaan Shamsi

Software developer. dev@faizaanshamsi.com

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Automating tasks with Capybara and Poltergeist (on Heroku)

The Problem

As the solo dev at a company that uses a lot of GUI tools to manage their work, I’ve been tasked with building tools to help automate their workflows. They must be easy to use since the tool may be used by contractors. They should be web based since they need to support multiple users who may be on Window or Mac devices.

One of our biggest problems is that product data needs to be exported into multiple applications, a very labor intensive process. Our product data exists in CSV format. Since our listings must be added on Wordpress via a GUI it’s currently an incredibly time consuming process. Additionally, each product must also be added to the CMS separately. My task was to build an app that a user could upload a CSV to and it would automatically create the listing in both Wordpress and the CMS. The CMS was reasonably straightforward as it provided an API that I could...

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Allowing Innovation in Education

Recently, I came across criticism of coding bootcamps. As someone with a passion for improving education as well as both a former student and current employee of a bootcamp, I took the criticism quite personally. The main criticisms revolved around 4 main issues:

Aptitude: Unless someone is capable of teaching themselves they are not cut out to be developers. A person who has taught themselves is the only employee worth hiring.

Quality of graduates: the complaint was that most bootcamp grads are unqualified for the jobs they’ve been promised.

Lack of Regulation: coding bootcamps are unregulated and as such are likely to be a cash grab that takes money from students and then forgets them, repeating the process for the next batch.

Professional teaching: teaching must be left to certified instructors at accredited institutions. 

First and foremost, most would agree that education in...

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